It all began when three adventurers met in a tavern...
Actually, no, it didn't start out like that at all. Dungeons & Discourse first appeared as a web comic by artist Aaron Diaz for his page Dresden Codak. Though the particular storyline, that of D&D adventurers using philosophy instead of swords and sorcery, only lasted a couple pages, it caught the eye of Gerol Petruzella, a professor of philosophy at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Gerol immediately gravitated to the idea of philosophical concepts being played out in a D&D-like setting, slaying monsters with logic and research, while exploring a world of philosophical theory. After getting Diaz's permission to use the concept, Gerol created Dungeons & Discourse, a hybrid class that taught philosophy both in the classroom and online. Students created a character that they took through a world Gerol dubbed "Sophos," and they learned about different philosophy concepts, earned experience to level up their character, and did battle with some of the most confounding philosophical problems in history. The course was a smash hit, earned rave reviews around campus, and even won a grant from the NEA Foundation, which allowed Gerol to expand his ideas, delve further into the realm of "Sophos," add new content, and create a richer experience, all the while making students enjoy learning about Philosophy.
When Gerol announced his grant award, composer and fellow MCLA philosophy alum Todd Bowes immediately offered to write an original soundtrack to accompany the world of "Sophos," if for no other reason than it would be a really cool thing to do. After releasing the single "Eudaimoni" in June of 2012, Todd got to work on expanding the sonic palate of Sophos, incorporating traditional symphonic instruments along with guitar, rock drums, vocals, and instruments from around the world. Inspired equally by great film composers like John Williams and Hans Zimmer, to video game maestros like Inon Zur and Akira Yamaoka, the tunes take you on an aural tour of Sophos's different in-game regions, from the sleepy seaside villages of Thauma, to the forests primeval of Logos, the bustling marketplaces of Episteme, to the bleak plains of Further Phusis, and the lush valleys of Ethos. Though symphonic in its origins, the soundtrack makes several nods to video game music, and attempts to capture the bombast of a great film score with the spirit and flair of a video game soundtrack.
Please note that the tracks in this early-release compilation have not been mastered, and so may not perform optimally on your audio equipment. Of course, if you want it louder, just turn the volume up.
Stay tuned for Volume 2, and a full soundtrack release in 2013!
released October 15, 2012
Composed and produced by Todd Bowes
Recorded and mixed by Christopher G. Brown; Nilbog East, Somerville, MA
Game design by Gerol Petruzella, Ph.D
Album cover photograph and design by Todd Bowes
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